The recipe of the week was Black and White Banana Loaf, chosen by Ashlee of A Year In The Kitchen . I was planning to use my 8 by 4 loaf pan for Dorie's lucious Banana Loaf but at the last minute I decided not to and went foraging through the attic for my mini loaf pan. I haven't used it in a couple of years even though I love the little baby loaves it produces, and thought my kids would really enjoy the little loafies, and they sure did! I will have to use this pan more often :) My changes to the recipe were to use two bananas, replace the milk with buttermilk, and use 3.5 ounces of chocolate. I also used 1 tsp rum extract instead of rum. Why? Because I had some to use up on my lazy susan of extracts and flavorings, and I did not have rum.
We are frequent banana bread consumers in this household, I almost always buy two bunches of bananas at a time, and hope that a couple don't get eaten so we can whip up some banana bread. My husband loves banana bread, just banana though, no chocolate, no nuts, nothing fun. I love it with just about anything and everything, I think my favorite banana bread ever was a "tropical" banana bread which had pineapple, coconut, macadamia nuts, and chopped up maraschino cherries along with the yummy nanas (or ninas, as my children used to call them). Yum, yum!
This recipe came together easily, I used buttermilk instead of milk because we had some in the fridge to use up and I think buttermilk makes just about every baked good taste better than just using milk. Banana bread is no exception, I love the ultra moistness it gives with just a little tang.
As I was reading the TWD website post on this recipe I noticed a few people had trouble with a crispy exterior and an underdone almost gummy middle, after they baked the full time in a loaf pan. For me, using the mini loaf pan, I had to kind of guess and check with the timing. They tested done, looked done, and were pretty much done but I did have a little almost underdone feeling in the middle of my little loafies. At first I thought I must have messed up with the baking time since I didn't have anything to really go by, but when I read others had this issue I thought that maybe it had something to do with the recipe? I don't know honestly, but you know, I actually like my middle a little soft and gooey like that, is that so wrong? Now I'm not talking "underdone" I'm talking so so so moist that it fakes you into thinking for a second it's underdone, and those who did not actually bake these might think they are underdone, but they are really just super moist. Yeah, I like that :) While this is considered a recipe flaw to some, I actually like it, and in this recipe, in addition to my guessing on baking times my supermoist middles could have also been caused by the fact that I used buttermilk instead of milk, used half an ounce more chocolate, and also used half an extra banana. So I'm not going to fault Dorie's recipe one bit on my end, and even if I had stuck to the recipe 110% and still had the supermoist middles, I would have LOVED them hehehe.
Underdone? Nah, just super moist, and yeah, I did test them with my OXO cake tester, of course. And I know that sounds like the most unnecessary thing to buy but I had been using thin bamboo skewers as cake testers and tossing them so really, buying the OXO cake tester was good for the environment. I try to help out when I can.
This recipe is a for sure 'make again' for us. The kiddos loved them! I might play around with the chocolate type, try to add an element of peanut butter for a "triple" flavored loaf (or baby loafies), and I will leave out the rum because it just didn't do anything for me in this recipe, and I do like rum flavor even though I don't drink it a lot, but it just isn't working for me flavor wise with this, maybe it is in there to "sophisticate" the homey banana loaf? I don't know, but in our house, nina bread needs no sophistication, just a quick spread of butter, and a tall glass of milk :)